By lex, on May 2nd, 2007
0500 wake-up for the bus to the ferry to Victoria, B.C. – You’ve got to be kidding me.
A morning tour of the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton – the old and the new! Moving towards bar coding for their inventory management. Came the question from the crowd: What about RFID? It’s all the thing for inventory control, etc.
Haven’t heard of it. Can I get your card? Shared glances, awkward silence *. And then back to the brief: Standard military tale – too much to do, not enough money to do it with and then of course there are the unions. Commiseration, shared distress, “Don’t we know it.”
Yes we do.
Walkabout the shipyard, lovely country in the distance and then down to Esquimalt for a touristy luncheon: Fish and chips and Guinness (for strength!) followed by a tot of the Laphroig with water just beside it, sort of a digestif, like. The credit card is rejected, a momentary embarrassment – how the hell did that happen? Vow to have a talk.
An interminable ride in the bus back to the ferry, gorgeous country on the way back across the sound: Islets and inlets, hamlets and villages, windswept mountains in the background and achingly poetic vistas, thinks to himself: “I could live here. Have boat – nothing too dramatic, p’raps 30 feet and a bit of sloop rigged comfort, gunk-hole around a bit when the mood struck, perhaps wet a line ever now and again from the tender that drags behind.”
A cool wet wind in the face in the very merry month of May and the lady thanks you, sir, but she’ll have none.
So it goes.
Off the ferry and the northbound freighter recedes in the west on his two steel rails, while an eastbound 18-wheeler carves away at the gray asphalt going the opposite direction, think of men working hard that you’ll never meet, never know. Wonder what it’s like feeling the cross-ties slap below you or the road moan on ahead with miles and miles to go in darkness before you sleep, think: There are many things we could have been, but this is what we are.
Could’ve been worse.
A worried call from home: Seems like the credit card number has been making the rounds of the Italian telecom circuit. Fraud detection software shut it down. Ah.
Speak to SNO on the phone: He’s being offered a cruise to and from Australia in July aboard the Kitty Hawk, or a three weeks in Lemoore, California. Explain that really, this is no choice at all. Go west young man, then hard south and straight on ’til morning.
Later perhaps we shall have us a chat about the Army and blogging.
Now we are to dinner.
* 07-31-2018 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.